Four injured in two separate morning accidents

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   Driving while tired may have been the cause of two separate motor vehicle accidents early Monday morning that sent a total of four people to the hospital.
   The first accident occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m. on State Route 400, Watauga Road, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Musick.
   According to Musick, Billy Collins, 30, 602 Bradley St., was traveling west on U.S. Highway 400 when his 1986 Ford Bronco was struck nearly head-on by a 1988 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Dawana K. Rainbolt, 40, 6025 U.S. Highway 19E, Hampton, who was traveling east.
   Rainbolt was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center by Wings Air Rescue where she remained in good condition Monday night. "She had a lot of broken bones and lacerations," Musick said.
   Collins was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center by the Carter County Rescue Squad where he was treated for his injuries and later released.
   "According to her family, she had worked all night and was driving home," Musick said. "She may have fallen asleep."
   Rainbolt has been charged with driving left of the center line, Musick said.
   About one hour later, another serious accident occurred on the other side of the county.
   At approximately 7:30 a.m., the other accident occurred on U.S. Highway 19E, about two tenths of a mile South of Simmerly Creek, Musick said.
   At that time, a 1989 Ford Probe, driven by Ricky Whitehead, 18, 1028 Old Railroad Grade Road, Roan Mountain, left the roadway and then re-entered the highway and struck a 2002 Toyota Forerunner. The Forerunner, driven by Misty McCoury, 27, 208 Bud Miller Road, Roan Mountain, was going north on the highway when it was struck by the Probe.
   "He (Whitehead) left the right side of the roadway and struck a guardrail and went across the road to the on-coming lane, then struck the Forerunner head on," Musick said. "According to his family he had worked all night and was coming home. We theorize he may have fallen asleep."
   Whitehead was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center by Wings Air Rescue where he underwent surgery to treat his injuries. He was listed in critical condition Monday night. "His injuries were pretty severe," Musick said.
   McCoury was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital by the Carter County Rescue Squad where she was treated and later released.